(l-r) Pete, Michael and Tim Collin, general manager Michael Hanton and head brewer Jeff Wright

Vale Brewing has been crowned Champion Large Brewery at the 2015 Royal Adelaide Beer Awards, knocking off major players including Coopers and Lion Nathan in the process.

This is the first time since its establishment in 2008 that the McLaren Vale-based craft brewer has won a Champion Brewery award.

Vale Brewing was also awarded Champion Dark Lager for its Vale Dark Lager at the awards ceremony at the Adelaide Showground and received a gold medal for its recently introduced Fox Hat metric IPA.

The judges commended the American-style Vale Dark Lager for its unique hop characteristics, intense clarity and powerful malt backbone; and complimented Fox Hat metric IPA’s slight green tinge appearance, its resinous pine and fruit aromas and a flavour profile bursting with fresh hop characteristics.

“This is definitely the highlight of our brewing history and a great achievement for a proudly independently-owned South Australian business,” Vale Brewing head brewer Jeff Wright said.

“To be crowned Champion Large Brewery means we achieved the highest aggregate score across our range of beers in this particular category.

“We’re really chuffed with what we’ve been accomplishing in our brewery and it’s great to learn that the judges felt similarly impressed by our beers, both from a technical and a consumer appreciation perspective.

“And coming out tops against the likes of Coopers and Lion Nathan is well worth raising a glass to!”

Vale Brewing started with just one beer, Vale Ale, and has since added sister brands Vale Lager, IPA and Dark Lager, along with the more recent Fox Hat family of Fox Hat Phat Mongrel and Fox Hat metric IPA and a selection of limited edition and experimental brews to the range.

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